bulldog info

Bulldog health information

Some important things worthwhile knowing

Leishmania: 
This is a disease which has now become widespread across southern Europe from Spain to Cyprus & in South America.
It’s transmitted by a type of mosquito commonly referred to as the Sand Fly. The worst aspect of this protozoal infection, at least until recently, was that it was only possible to restrain the disease from spreading rendering it dormant but not killing it altogether.

The former is achievable thanks to a drug called Allopurinol which needs to be administered incessantly for the remaining life span of the infected dog. The mechanism behind how this drug achieves this effect is very simple and has proven to be somewhat effective.
Basically, the drug which is intended to treat gout which is brought about by hyperuricemia (i.e. high levels of uric acid in the blood|) just also happens to be the condition that leishmania requires in order to thrive.
The problem with this kind of treatment is that there are no guarantees that with time the infection won’t resurface, usually more aggressive than the initial outbreak & more often than not, claiming the life of the infected animal within a matter of weeks.

Today, thanks to extensive research, scientists have stumbled across a revolutionary drug called Miltefosine. This new drug has been successfully used to treat both types of leishmaniasis (i.e. visceral and cutaneous) and is currently undergoing clinical trials for this use in several other countries, such as Brazil and Guatemala.

Several medical agents have shown some efficacy against visceral or cutaneous leishmaniasis; however, a 2005 survey concluded that Miltefosine is the ONLY effective oral treatment for both forms of leishmaniasis. If this weren’t already enough besides a cure there’s also a vaccine, in other words, a precautionary alternative one can take against this infectious disease; Canileish by Vibrac.

Prevention is always better than cure so it’s paramount that we focus all our efforts on preventative methods some of which have been available for quite a while now. The curing aspect of leishmaniasis doesn’t come without a toll on our pet’s health.

The number one preventative method against the spread of this infectious disease is understanding our sworn enemy; the phlebotomist mosquito known as the Sand Fly which is the very medium which transmits the infection. It’s usually only the female of this species of mosquito which is responsible for biting and sucking the blood of mammals, reptiles and birds. She requires the protein in her victim’s blood to lay her larvae. This type of mosquito is prevalent during the summer months when night temperature is constantly above 18°C & is at its most active just before dusk & dawn, ideally you should wait until the sun has fully risen before taking your dog for its daily morning stroll. The sand fly is very vulnerable to the elements & it only takes just one gusty day or one chilly night out of the blue to almost wipe it out. It’s also incapable of flying higher than one story but often latches on to our person & uses us as a means to transport it to our beloved pets!! This is why it’s imperative that as soon as the outside night temperature climbs above 18°C that we start using insecticides (i.e. Vape Mats, Citronella plants etc.) inside our homes & the concurrent use of an electrical spark equipped with an ultra violet light could only further help our cause.

The most common places to encounter swarms of this menace are, as the name implies, near sandy beaches or in rubbly walls. Advantix by Bayern which active ingredient is a chemical called permethrin is widely accepted to be the number one repelent to be applied onto dogs but we have found mosquito repellents containing deet at 50% concentration to be equally as effective without the hypoallergenic reactions that the former often causes. The only drawback with regards deet spray is that it has to be applied at least once a day whereas Advantix only has to be applied once every 28 days.

Once bitten, the animal will not exhibit any symptoms until about 6 months afterwards. Common telltale signs are dandruff like particles on the coat, loss of hair around the eyes, the claws start to grow at an alarming rate & there is a noticeable loss in bodyweight especially in the hind legs. In dogs, the disease can manifest itself in the epidermis or find its way into the blood stream in which case the afflicted dog will regress rapidly unless treated with the aforementioned drug Miltefosine. 

Copyright © Robert Sammut. All rights reserved.

 

Demodicosis:
Also called demodectic mange or red mange, is caused by an overpopulation of Demodex canis resulting in the afflicted animal’s immune system no longer being able to keep up with the mites.

Demodex is a genus of mite in the family Demodicidae. Demodex canis occurs naturally in the hair follicles of most dogs in low numbers around the face and other areas of the body. In most dogs, these mites never cause problems. However, in certain situations, such as an under-developed or impaired immune system, intense stress, or malnutrition, the mites can reproduce rapidly, causing symptoms in sensitive dogs that range from mild irritation and hair loss on a small patch of skin to severe and widespread inflammation, secondary infection, and—in rare cases—a life-threatening condition.

Small patches of demodicosis often correct themselves over time as the dog's immune system matures, although treatment is usually recommended. Demodicosis is not a contagious disease to healthy animals and is not transmitted to humans. The disease in humans is usually caused by Demodex folliculorum (not the same species affecting dogs) and may have a rosacea-like appearance. 

Common symptoms include hair loss, itching and inflammation. It was once believed to be transmitted from mother to baby during childbirth and lactation. We now know otherwise and have come to learn that there is a hereditary predisposition to the disease.
The disease occurs mainly in two forms: a localized and a generalized form. The localized form mainly affects puppies under one year of age.

Telltale signs include but are not necessarily restricted to hairless spots around the head, neck and forelimbs. The latter form of demodicosis in Bulldogs is much more common than we might presume with some owners not even being aware of its manifestation while others tend not to be bothered by it since the afflicted animal will only have a few small hairless patches most commonly on the head, in particular, around the eyes and the nose.

The first symptoms of odicosis usually occurs in females when they first come on heat & in males when they enter puberty. Dogs that have generalized demodicosis should not be utilized for reproduction purposes & preferably sterelized while those afflicted with the localized forms pose no real threat of passing on the gene & therefore can be used for reproduction.

The alopecia (i.e the absence of hair from areas of the body where it would otherwise normally grow) associated with the generalized form maybe erythemal which with time will develop into scaly scabs and more often than not will become infected.
Treating the generalized form often warrants the concurrent use of antibiotics like clindamycin with antiparasitic medication like Ivermectin which doesn’t come without undesirable side effects. Localized dermodicosis can be treated with more conservative medication like Moxidectine which can be found in a product called Advocate & which is manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals or by boosting your dog’s diet with super premium kibble & supplementing with agents like Catosal which boost the animal’s immune system.

Hyperuricosuria (HUU)

Hyperuricosuria is characterized by elevated levels of uric acid in the urine. This disease predisposes dogs to form stones in their bladders or sometimes kidneys. The trait can occur in any breed but is most commonly found in the Dalmatian, Bulldog and Black Russian Terrier where Dalmatians are considered to be homozygous for hyperuricosuria. Hyperuricosuria is inherited as a simple autosomal recessive trait.

Sire

Dam
Offspring
Clear
x
Clear
>
100% Clear
clear
x
carrier
>
50%  Clear + 50% carriers
clear
x
affected
>
100% carriers
carrier
x
Clear
>
50%  Clear + 50% carriers
carrier
x
carrier
>
25% clear + 25% affected + 50% carriers
carrier
x
affected
>
50% carriers + 50% affected
affected
x
Clear
>
100%  carriers
affected
x
carrier
>
50% carriers + 50% affected
affected
x
affected
>
100% affected

Clear
Genotype: N / N [ Homozygous normal ]
The dog is noncarrier of the mutant gene.
The dog will never develop Hyperuricosuria / Urate Stones (HUU, SLC) and therefore it can be bred to any other dog.
Carrier
Genotype: N / SLC2 [ Heterozygous ]
The dog carries one copy of the mutant gene and one copy of the normal gene.
The dog will never develop Hyperuricosuria / Urate Stones (HUU, SLC) but since it carries the mutant gene, it can pass it on to its offspring with the probability of 50%.
Carriers should only be bred to clear dogs.
Avoid breeding carrier to carrier because 25% of their offspring is expected to be affected (see table above)
Affected
Genotype: SLC2 / SLC2 [ Homozygous mutant ]
The dog carries two copies of the mutant gene and therefore it will pass the mutant gene to its entire offspring.
The dog will develop Hyperuricosuria / Urate Stones (HUU, SLC) and will pass the mutant gene to its entire offspring